|Henson's shooting well in warmups, will play and could still possibly start. (Will Brinson, CBSSports.com)|
GREENSBORO, NC -- John Henson hasn't played for North Carolina since the Tar Heels toppled Maryland in the ACC Tournament, but the two-time ACC Defensive Player of the Year could see game action on Sunday, as UNC announced he "will play" and was a late addition to the starting lineup.
During the game, Henson will be wearing "tape and a molded sprint" (see: above) to protect his sprained wrist.
An hour before tipoff, UNC said they weren't sure whether or not Henson would start against Creighton; when the Greensboro Coliseum staff distributed the starting lineups, James Michael McAdoo was listed, not Henson. But it was announced about 15 minutes prior to game time that Henson would indeed replace McAdoo as the starter.
Henson emerged from the tunnel for warmups to big cheers from Carolina fans and had a huge smile on his face -- through warmups, he looks perfectly capable of being an effective shooter for the Heels against Creighton.
The forward primarily shot with his right hand, but he also worked on left-handed moves inside the paint, taking some baby hooks and the like during warmups. He didn't appear bothered by the injury while doing so.
The big question for Henson will be on defense. Can he utilize his left hand to alter the way Bluejays star Doug McDermott plays in the post? And is it a risk for Roy Williams to put Henson on the floor at this point?
Yes and no -- UNC needs an effective Henson if they want to continue to advance in the NCAA Tournament. And if they're able to build a big lead against Creighton, Williams will likely rest his star defensive player to ensure his health for future games.
But Roy also wants to ensure that Henson gets some NCAA in-game action, and Sunday is a perfect chance to do that without risking Henson's future health too much.
And if McAdoo struggles inside against McDermott or ends up in foul trouble, expect a healthy dose of Henson, regardless of where his injury stands.